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Manga Guide

Dragon Ball Chapter 004


Tankōbon Title Page
Tankōbon Title Page
Kanzenban Title Page
Kanzenban Title Page
Full Color Title Page
Full Color Title Page

亀仙人の筋斗雲

Kame-Sen’nin no Kinto-Un

Kame-Sen’nin’s Kinto-Un

Chapter Information

Premiered: 11 December 1984 (Weekly Shōnen Jump 1985 #03)
Corresponding: Dragon Ball Episode 003, “Kame-Sen’nin’s Kinto-Un”
Dragon Ball Episode 004, “The Kidnapping Demon, Oolong”

Availability:
  • Digital Monochrome Edition Volume 01 (12 October 2012)

Chapter Synopsis

The old man introduces himself as Kame-Sen’nin, and asks Umigame who saved him. Umigame says it was the young lad, and so Kame-Sen’nin offers to give Goku a present. He calls for a phoenix, but nothing comes. Umigame says that the Phoenix died from food poisoning, so Kame-Sen’nin comes up with a replacement. “Come to me!!! Kinto-Un!!!” A small yellow cloud then flies down from the sky and Kame-Sen’nin says he’ll give this Kinto-Un to Goku as a present. Goku asks if you eat it, and Kame-Sen’nin yells that you don’t eat it, you ride on it.

Bulma thinks there must be something wrong with this cloud since this old man is giving it to Goku. Kame-Sen’nin then tells Goku that in order to ride on Kinto-Un you must have a pure heart. He decides he should show him, but he just falls right through Kinto-Un. Goku, however, jumps on and has no trouble whatsoever. He flies off into the sky as Bulma and Kame-Sen’nin are left on the ground in awe. Bulma wants one too, and so Kame-Sen’nin asks Umigame if she also helped him. Umigame says she didn’t, and she yells at him saying that she gave him salt water. Kame-Sen’nin doesn’t have another Kinto-Un. He can give her something else instead though, provided that…he gets a look at her panties.

Bulma is embarrassed about showing her panties, and the turtle yells at Kame-Sen’nin that this is why he can’t ride Kinto-Un. Bulma finally agrees and lifts up her night gown, showing Kame-Sen’nin what she’s got. Kame-Sen’nin wasn’t expecting to see all that and wonders what he could give in return. Then Bulma asks to see “that”, the thing hanging from his neck. He says he found it at the bottom of the ocean a hundred years ago and made it into a necklace. Bulma then calls Goku down from the sky and shows him that she has another Dragon Ball. Goku says it has three stars, so it’s the Three-Star Ball.

Kame-Sen’nin wonders what this Dragon Ball thing is supposed to be and thinks he should get another look at it since this thing was so great. Bulma nonchalantly flashes him again, and so he hands it over, wishing he’d brought a camera. They part ways, and Bulma and Goku ride off down a road back to the capsule house. Bulma goes in to change her clothes and screams. Goku runs in, and finds Bulma wondering why her panties are here. Then she freaks out about not having any on when she flashed Kame-Sen’nin. Goku reassures her that it’s ok if she doesn’t have a weewee and balls. Bulma wonders if he took her underwear, and Goku doesn’t understand. She shows him what underwear is, and he admits to taking them off this morning. Then she starts firing at him with a machine gun.

Bulma puts the house back in its capsule as Goku rubs his head from the gunshots. Bulma then wants to try riding on Kinto-Un, but she just falls through. She thinks being too beautiful must be a sin. Then they set out in search of the next Dragon Ball, as Goku makes fun of Bulma for being so slow. Finally after three days, they come to a seemingly deserted village (though Goku admits to feeling people’s ki) where the fifth Dragon Ball lies.

Chapter Notes

Weekly Shōnen Jump

  • When this chapter was first published, it marked the fourth of five consecutive weeks of color pages for the series (in other words, every chapter released in 1984), a relative rarity in Jump. The title page art of these first five chapters was made part of a contest where readers would choose their favorite for a chance to win a “deluxe panel” of the winning illustration. The results of this contest were reported on the title page of Chapter 12 in issue 1985 #12.

Title Page

  • The title shows a colored background of overlapping geometric shapes, in front of which Bulma stands next to an off-road motorcycle, one hand on her hip and the other holding an Uzi, while Goku floats through the air with his Nyoi-Bō drawn. The motorcycle appears to be similar to a number of motocross (or non-competitive variant) designs in the early 1980s, likely 250cc, though it may not be based on any model in particular. Strong candidates include the Honda CR250R and several different Maico designs. Toriyama appears to have mirrored whatever image he was working from, however, as both the exhaust manifold and the drive chain are on the left side, when they were generally placed on opposite sides, or both on the right.
  • This title page illustration was also used as the cover illustration for Tankōbon Volume 10.

Timeline

  • The official timeline first used in Daizenshuu 7 places the events of this chapter on September 2nd, AGE 749 (continuing on immediately from the third chapter), then jumping ahead three days (as mentioned in the narration) to September 5th, as they arrive in Oolong’s village. These dates are reckoned by working back from the first concretely-known date of the series, which is the date of the 21st Tenka’ichi Budōkai on May 7th, AGE 750. (The date of the 21st Budōkai is itself derived by calculating back from the date of Piccolo’s world conquest precisely three years and two days later on May 9th, AGE 753.)

Story

  • Although Goku first interacts with Kame-Sen’nin in this chapter, there is not yet any indication that the Turtle Sage is a martial-arts master (which would not come until Chapter 11). In fact, the only hints that he is anything at all other than a dirty old man are his extreme age (established here as well over 100 years old) and the fact that he owns a flying cloud that only the pure of heart may ride. This is likely because the author had yet to conceive of him as anything more than a perverted giver of plot-requisite gifts at this point in the story. This can be most clearly seen in the fact that he completely fails to recognize the Nyoi-Bō that belonged to his top disciple (as established in Chapter 11), and which he himself borrowed from Karin Tower, as revealed in Chapter 162. If any of these details involving the connections between Kame-Sen’nin and either Son Gohan or the Nyoi-Bō itself had been worked out already, it would almost certainly have become a major plot point right away.
  • This chapter is the second instance (after her offer to let Goku feel her up in Chapter 1) of Bulma attempting to use her sexuality to get what she wants, only for it to backfire on her. It is sometimes said that Bulma agrees to flash Kame-Sen’nin in order to obtain the Dragon Ball in his possession, but in fact, she does this before she recognizes that he has one, and is only responding to his vague promise to give her “something”. One must, of course, keep in mind that she is still somehow unaware that she is not wearing any underwear (having apparently neither gone to the bathroom since she woke up, nor noticed during the long motorcycle ride), but even so, her youthful over-eagerness to exploit her own sexuality is already putting her into situations that a more mature individual would surely avoid.

Items

  • This chapter marks the first appearance in-story of Kinto-Un (筋斗雲), first glimpsed on the title page of Chapter 2. Although we list it as an “item” here, it behaves at times more like a character in the way it interacts with Goku. For more on the origins and naming of this cloud, see Antecedents, below.
  • In this chapter, Bulma and Goku obtain the Three Star Ball, Sān xīngqiú (三星球, sanshinchū), which is their fourth Dragon Ball overall and their first since Goku joined Bulma a day earlier.

Vehicles

  • The capsule bike Bulma is riding at very end of the chapter (and into the following one) is a different model from the one Bulma rides in the first chapter. Aside from the color, it has four exhaust pipes versus two for the bike in Chapter 1, different headlights and taillights, and different markings (this would appear to have come out of Capsule #14, rather than Capsule #9).

Weapons

  • The submachine gun Bulma pulls out of nowhere to shoot Goku in the first panel on page 12 appears to be an Ingram MAC-10 or MAC-11. It is distinct from the Uzi Bulma is seen with in the chapter title page. It is also never seen again afterwards.

Anime Connections

Author’s Comment

  • Each issue of Weekly Shōnen Jump featured short comments from the various series’ authors, giving fans a brief insight into their current thoughts, ranging from series-related announcements to trivial happenings in their personal lives. Akira Toriyama’s comments from this issue were:
    今頃になってかの名作『未来少年コナン』を見て大感激しちゃいました。ああいう作品をかきたい<明>

    Recently, I finally watched that masterpiece Future Boy Conan, and it really impressed me. I want to make something like that. <Akira>

    This comment is one reprinted in Daizenshuu 7. Future Boy Conan is a 1978 TV series directed by Hayao Miyazaki prior to the formation of Studio Ghibli; its protagonist, the eponymous Conan, is a boy whose outlook and behavior are quite similar to Goku’s. Given that Toriyama had seen the series, this is probably not a coincidence.

Page Breakdown

The majority of the Dragon Ball series was drawn in black and white, but chapters were occasionally published with color pages. This breakdown notes how many full-color, limited-color, and black-and-white pages appeared in this chapter. As the tankōbon volumes were not released with these colors intact, any color pages shown are taken from the kanzenban release.